Pennsylvania Doctor Gets 15 Years for Drug Dealing

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WILLIAMSPORT, PA — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Dr. Raymond Kraynak, age 65, of Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on August 3, 2022, to 15 years imprisonment by Chief United States District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. Chief Judge Brann also ordered Kraynak to pay restitution in the amount of $22,365 to the victims or their families.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Kraynak previously pled guilty on September 23, 2021, to 12 counts of unlawful distribution and dispensing of a controlled substance outside the usual course of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purpose.  Kraynak also admitted that the Schedule II narcotic opioid drugs that he prescribed resulted in the deaths of five of his patients.

Kraynak’s sentence followed Chief Judge Brann’s denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The guilty plea occurred after 13 days of trial testimony after the government rested its case-in-chief. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Kraynak agreed to the 15-year term of imprisonment on each of the twelve counts he pleaded guilty to and the sentences will run concurrently.

Kraynak was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 20, 2017, in a 19-count indictment charging unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, causing the death of five patients by the unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, and maintaining two drug-involved premises, one in Mt. Carmel and the other Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Kraynak stopped seeing patients and surrendered his license in December 2017 when he was arraigned in federal court on the indictment.

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Kraynak operated two offices, one in Mt. Carmel and the other in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, both known as Keystone Family Medicine Associates, and prescribed approximately 9.5 million units of oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxycontin and fentanyl to patients between January 2014 and July 31, 2017. The prosecution evidence included testimony from DEA analysts that Kraynak was the top prescriber of opioids in Pennsylvania in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and during those years prescribed more opioids than both the Veterans Medical Center in Pittsburgh and the Veterans Hospital in Philadelphia.

The prosecution’s evidence at trial also included testimony by a medical expert that Kraynak continued to prescribe high doses of opioids despite knowing that patients had previously been treated for drug overdoses, respiratory problems and other medical conditions increasing the risks of overdose and death.

The prosecution’s evidence also established that Kraynak, in prescribing these opioids to multiple patients outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, and did so without conducting a proper medical examination, inadequately verifying the patient’s medical complaint, and failing to assess the risk of abuse by individual patients.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Control Division, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the Mt. Carmel Borough Police Department, Shamokin Police Department, the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, Office of Drug Surveillance and Misuse Prevention, the Northumberland County Coroner’s Office, the Schuylkill County Coroner’s Office, and Lehigh County Coroner’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys William Behe and George Rocktashel prosecuted the case.

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